South Scotland SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has responded to Theresa May’s “astonishing U-turn” as the Prime Minister called for a Westminster snap election on 8th June.
Ms McAlpine said the announcement was “further evidence of a self-interested Tory party seeking to shore up its own power and to hell with the consequences”.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“Just like her reckless Brexit gamble, Theresa May is again acting in the interests of her own Tory party against the wishes of voters of the UK. She wants an election to consolidate her party’s position in England, exploit the dire state of the Labour Party and impose perpetual Tory rule on Scotland.
“A Tory future will push the UK even further to the right with Ms May’s pursuit of hard Brexit and the imposition of deeper cuts. New figures released by the World Economic Forum show Brexit will cost Britain £140 billion (7.5% of GDP) or the equivalent of £300 million a week over eight years. It means higher prices in the shops and fewer opportunities for the young as we are dragged out of the single market.
“We already know that the Tories will use Brexit as a power grab to take responsibilities away from the Scottish Parliament and slash Scotland’s budget. Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson recently said that some powers over agriculture were better set at UK level – the opposite of what was promised and a disaster for livestock farming, which is far more important to Dumfries and Galloway, and Scotland, than it is in the south.
“And it will be up to the UK Treasury what happens to the money Scotland received from European structural funds and common agricultural payments (CAP). It doesn’t look like the Tory government will give it back to us, and it may even disappear into the deficit. This will devastate our local economy which is so reliant of agriculture and the food and drink industries.
Ms McAlpine added:
“In Scotland, this election is a spectacular miscalculation by Ms May. The Tories have no mandate in Scotland and do not reflect our interests as a nation.
“We must reject the Tories’ toxic agenda while reinforcing the democratic mandate for giving Scotland’s people a choice on their future.
“This election will present a straightforward choice for Scotland. The SNP will always put the people who live and work in Scotland first.”